Latvian prospect Porzingis: 'It would be amazing to play for the Knicks'
Are there any prospects who wouldn't love to play for the New York Knicks?
With one of basketball's most prominent franchises uncharacteristically owning the No. 4 pick - they haven't picked in the top 10 since 2009 or in the top five since 1986 - there's a legitimate chance a star-quality recruit lands in Basketball Mecca.
Count Latvian prospect Kristaps Porzingis, in Manhattan for workouts Tuesday, among those who'd love to call Madison Square Garden home.
While the Knicks are said to be high on, among others, Trey Lyles, Willie Cauley-Stein, and the draft's top four prospects, guys like Karl-Anthony Towns, Justise Winslow, and D'Angelo Russell have been outspoken about wanting to play in New York. The Knicks are "open to a lot of things" after falling to No. 4 in the draft lottery, and it appears no matter the route they take, the player will be happy.
Nabbing Porzingis at No. 4 would be a risky but potentially fruitful move. He's impressed in the world's second-best league, and while he naturally draws comparisons - fair or otherwise - to other lanky European big men, the draw is obvious. This is an athletic 7-footer who can shoot the triple, handle the ball some, and block shots, an intriguing package despite strength concerns limiting his defensive and rebounding upside.
ESPN's Chad Ford ranks Porzingis as the No. 5 prospect and has him going fifth in his most recent mock draft, while DraftExpress has him ranked 10th and going ninth. Those standings may make him a bit of a public relations gamble for the Knicks at No. 4, but Phil Jackson is nothing if not bold.